RCEA energy audit reviews/Food for People
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RCEA Energy Audit Review/Food for People
Food for People is designated as Humboldt County California's food bank. Food for People operates 13 food distribution programs throughout Humboldt County, including The After School Snack Program, Backpacks for Kids Program,The Gleaning Program, and direct food distribution on Wednesday's and Fridays to an average of 1000 households per month.  The Redwood Coast Energy Alliance (RCEA)was contracted by Anne Holcomb, Executive Director of Food For People, to implement an energy efficiency upgrade, consisting of lighting retrofits. A retrofit is the addition of new or modified parts or equipment not available or considered necessary at the time of manufacture.
The retrofits were completed on 9/8/2008. The RCEA and contractors replaced one four foot fluorescent lighting ballast and lamps with a four foot T8 fixture, eight incandescent floodlight lamps with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), and two regular incandescent lights with Compact Flourescent Lights. CT6, A8) The RCEA estimated the client would save $217.50 per year and offset an estimated 783lbs/year CO2. The cost of the upgrades was $324.21. RCEA paid $224.09, for a cost of $199.40 paid by the client.
- The client did not change their lightning habits after the retrofit, but according to Anne Holcomb, the office employees have been making an effort to turn off all the computers in the evenings when no one is working.
- According to Holcomb, the retrofits would not have done the lighting retrofits without help from the RCEA. The RCEA approached the client about the retrofits.
- The client moved forward with the project in the event that they could save money by using less kwh. The client is considering a Photovoltaic Solar Power System for the future, therefore it is important to the client to make the business's energy usage as efficient as possible. Utilities are one of the highest cost for this client. The client has two walk-in freezers and one walk-in refrigerator, as well as three newer refrigerator units in the lobby. The majority of Food for People's energy usage comes from the refrigeration units.
- The Lighting retrofit was completed on September 8, 2009. The overall energy usage from Sept 2008- Sept 2009 went up 3% from the same time period in 2006-2007. This is most likely due to the malfunctioning refrigeration units discovered by the Engineers without Borders, as well as the addition of new upright refrigerators in the lobby.
- According to the Customer Report prepared by the RCEA, the client should have saved 1,506 kWh/yr. The simple payback calculated by RCEA was 0.9 yrs.
- Food For People's energy demand has been rising. It is not possible to tell if these retrofits contributed any energy savings to the business. Table 1 shows the three months in 2009, June, July, and August, in which the energy usage was down from the previous year. Currently, all of the refrigeration units are working properly, and therefore the client should expect to continue to see energy savings.
- For the months of June, July and August; the energy demand dropped 314 kWh from the previous year, and saved 164.54 lbs of CO2. These results are summarized in Table 1. Also, an increase of $0.02/kWh in 2009 should be noted.
- More energy savings for the client are expected after the refrigeration upgrades are completed.
|Month||2008 kWh||2009 kWh||kWh savings||CO2 Offset in lbs (.52lbCO2/kwH)|
|3 month totals||6885||6571||314||
- Food For People is currently planning refrigeration upgrades. These upgrades will include timer controlled evaporator fans and new Electronically Commuted Motors(ECM). The ECM (Electronically Commuted Motor) is an ultra high effeciency programmable brushless DC motor utilizing a permanent magnet rotor and built-in inverter. Some local engineers from Engineers Without Borders (capitalization) came in and did a data monitoring project that involved using KW meters to figure out how much each of the refrigeration units are using and then address issues that might come up (ike?). Because of this investigation, the engineers were able to locate a unit that was extremely (W9) low on coolant with its compressor running 24 hrs a day. The RCEA and the people from Engineers without borders have been helping get the grants to do the refrigeration upgrades, and Anne (last name?) from Food for people thought was one of the best parts about working with the RCEA (W.10). The refrigeration upgrades include a timer controlled evaporator fan, and other upgrades aimed at making the refrigeration units as efficient as possible (redundant). With and estimated savings of 6435 KWH/year, and a $965.21 savings per year, Food for People Executive Director, Anne Holcomb, is ready for these retrofits to happen (And how are they going to be funded? what is the cost? the simple payback? less than the lighting projections?), which should be very (W9) soon.
References (C10, C12)
- Food For People
- Merriam-Webster Online, date:1953, Retrieved on May 11, 2009, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retrofit
- Lou Jacobson,Redwood Coast Energy Authority,July 28,2008, Customer Report
- Nailor Industries Inc., The ECM Motor Story, Retrieved 12/11/2009, http://www.nailor.com/pdf/ECM_1.pdf